Next Sunday (27 October) is Diwali, the Festival of Light, celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs.
Both religions celebrate the festival for different reasons, but the message is the same: celebrating the victory of light over darkness.
For Hindus, this is represented by the story of Rama and Sita, a married couple who were exiled from their kingdom. Sita was kidnapped and then saved by Rama, with the help of the monkey-god, Hanuman. When they returned home, people lit their way with thousands of oil lamps.
For Sikhs, the festival is a celebration of the freedom of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind. He was a young guru, who had been imprisoned by an emperor along with 52 princes. When Guru Hargobind was released, he asked that his fellow prisoners were also freed. The emperor said that only those who held onto Guru Hargobind’s coat could be released, and so he made a coat with 52 long pieces of string. This allowed everyone to walk free. To welcome Guru Hargobind home, Sikhs lit up the Golden Temple in India.
Today, during Diwali, people decorate their homes with spectacular lights, exchange gifts and attend impressive firework displays.
Read Our Story
Learn the story of Rama and Sita with this simple BBC Teach animation.
- Write a poem inspired by the theme of “light”. What images does it make you think of? What feelings does it give you?
- Draw a cartoon which retells either of the Diwali stories above.